|Image from: imdb.com|
All Is Lost is a simple story of survival that takes place over 8 days as a sailor battles against the elements and faces his own mortality. It nearly put me to sleep, not because it’s a boring film but with no dialogue other than some Voice Over at the beginning of the film, as I sat in the cinema nursing a Boxing Day hangover and listening to the sounds of the sea I found myself nearly drifting off at some points.
With this in mind, what can I say about All Is Lost? Well despite my drowsiness I did enjoy it and the crowd I saw the film with seemed to enjoy it too with one person claiming to be close to tears throughout. This surprised me because at face value All Is Lost, a film with minimal dialogue, hardly any action pieces and a centre performance from an actor the younger generation may not be familiar with, is a brave move for Hollywood and one which has clearly payed off.
J.C Chandor, a fairly new director whose other work I have yet to see, does a great job directing and there’s moments of stunning imagery throughout but it’s his writing which truly impressed me. Sure there’s little to none dialogue but the film is laced with hints to our characters past, some more obvious than others and it manages to maintain a decent amount of tension throughout. I’d love to get my hands on a copy of the actual screenplay for this as I’m sure it would make for an interesting read.
As mentioned before, Robert Redford, the sundance kid, is literally the only credited cast member for All Is Lost and his performance is exceptional. He manages to create a real and layered character who goes through so much it’s impossible not to feel for him the more desperate his situation becomes.
A few months ago my anticipation was high for Gravity, a film which shares the same bones as All Is Lost. Both are ultimately films about survival, centre around one performer and are more of a cinematic experience than the run of the mill film.
Whereas Gravity disappointed me so much, All Is Lost proved to be a much better experience. Whilst it didn’t completely blow me away it’s worth seeing because it’s something different but more than that, if you don’t have a hangover, chances are it will enthral and entertain you from beginning to end.